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A map painter's guide to label placement

Posted by imagico on 19 May 2018 in English (English)

Warning: this post contains irony that might not be immediately obvious to all readers.

So you are an OpenStreetMap mapper and consider the task of the mapper to be to draw the map. All this talk of a generic geo-database and we don't map for the renderer sounds like esotheric nonsense to you. OpenStreetMap is a map. Mappers create this map. Period.

But map style designers make life really difficult since your mapping work is interpreted in a way that makes it hard to properly draw things on the map.

This in particular applies to labels. Sometimes you just need to draw a label somewhere. Here you learn how you can do this without also having other stuff show up in the map that you don't want.

The classic method to do this is using place=locality. This is really nice because place=locality just means an unpopulated place with a name but no other verifiable properties. This means it cannot be easily falsified without local knowledge meaning it is fairly unlikely that another mapper will come along and remove your label because it does not actually describe something verifiable on the ground.

The big disadvantage of place=locality is that it is not rendered before zoom level 15 and you have no way to influence the label design.

A much more powerful tool for label placement is place=island. Large polygons tagged place=island are drawn with a label (and only with a label) starting at zoom level 4 already and the label size depends on the size of the polygon. This mean you can use this to place a label anywhere on the map in a wide range of sizes just by drawing a suitably placed and sized polygon and tagging it place=island + name=whatever.

place=island neutral labels from z4 upwards

The big disadvantage is that this is very easy to falsify. What an island is is very well defined. Using this tag for other things will, in particular if the feature is large and prominent, quickly be reverted as vandalism.

The next method for placing labels is to use shop=mall which creates red labels starting at zoom level 10. This has more or less the same disadvantage as place=island - if it is used on things that are not actually malls this can easily be seen on high resolution images - outside of settlements it is often obvious without consulting images at all.

A bit less of this problem comes with tourism=attraction, likewise starting at zoom level 10 but with a different styling and in dark magenta. Meant as a secondary tag to indicate something is of touristic significance (which in itself is obviously difficult to falsify) it is rendered as a primary tag independent of the type of feature it is applied to. It is therefore much more popular than shop=mall for labeling - despite the duller color (see here, here, here and here for examples).

place=island colorful labels from z10 upwards with shop=mall and tourism=attraction

And finally since recently we also have a way of generating blue labels without at the same time generating other visual clutter. This is completely unrestricted in terms of zoom level (i.e. you can even place a label on zoom level 0 if you want to).

To do so you once again need a polygon (a closed way or a multipolygon relation) and tag it natural=bay + name=whatever. This is easy to falsify if the polygon extents over land but it is just about as hard to falsify as place=locality for polygons over water and does not have the zoom level and size restrictions of that.

place=island ...and the easiest way to spam OSM so far

And in case you are hesitant to use this because verifiability of mapping might seem not such a bad idea in the end - don't be afraid, you are not alone. Here a few examples:

Some prefer to use natural=water to natural=bay - this has the disadvantage of being rendered with a solid color fill, which of course does not matter much if you use it only over water - at least in the standard style. And it is not rendered before z5. But it has been possible to use that for much longer for label placement over water so it is quite popular as well:

As a data user i can just sigh and contemplate on how to reliably normalize these free style drawings into properly placed nodes which then can hopefully be used to interpret the data with the help of verifiable geometries like the coastlines. This would be funny in its irony if it wasn't so sad because of the work hours wasted in mapping and data maintenance for nothing.

Rendering non-default language in OSM-Carto standard map

Posted by demonshreder on 19 May 2018 in English (English)

Rendering non-default language in OSM-Carto standard map

Chennai in Tamil


OpenStreetMap's standard map rendered in OSMCarto style use only the name tag, for good reasons but what happens when you want to create raster maps in a language of your choice? How do we use the name:xx tags?


India's map is in English but it officially recognizes 22 languages for its culturally and lingually diverse states including English, Tamil, Malayalam etc.

How do I render OSM Standard map in my mother tongue - Tamil?

Apparently it is just an if statement of three lines in the right place.


The only hack AFAIK is to change the name tag before data is dumped into postgresql, to do that we need to sideload a lua script to osm2pgsql during the dump using the --tag-transform-script parameters, documentation for it is available here.

The documentation states that the following three methods should be implemented in the tag transformation lua script to filter out specific information from the source .pbf or .osm.xml

  • filter_tags_node
  • filter_tags_way
  • filter_basic_tags_rel

These are the three functions osm2pgsql calls on every tag it adds to the Postgresql database, therefore we would have to implement the same functions in our script.

function filter_tags_node(tags, num_tags)
   if tags["name:ta"] then
    tags["name"] = tags["name:ta"]
return 1, tags

So we are checking if the current node has the tag name:ta and if it does, we are replacing its name tag with the Tamil name.

We have to repeat this with the other two functions to change everything into Tamil or language of your choice.

This makes sure that the default name for all data in the rendering database is in Tamil if available.

Making it actually work

This alone isn't enough to render the OSM standard tiles in Tamil. As mentioned in switch2osm we already use openstreetmap-carto's lua script to filter out tags.

osm2pgsql -d gis --create --slim -G --hstore --tag-transform-script ~/src/openstreetmap-carto/openstreetmap-carto.lua -C 2500 --number-processes 1 -S ~/src/openstreetmap-carto/ ~/data/tamil_nadu-latest.osm.pbf

Therefore, it would be better at add our code to openstreetmap-carto.lua, something like

function filter_tags_node (keyvalues, numberofkeys)
  if keyvalues["name:ta"] then
    keyvalues["name"] = keyvalues["name:ta"]
  return filter_tags_generic(keyvalues)

Remember to repeat for all three methods mentioned in the earlier section.


Following the steps on switch2osm was enough to create a rendering setup.

I found state wise .pbf extracts for India on OSM-fr

mod_tile renders new tiles only when it is requested, therefore if you want to prerender all tiles, this can be helpful, though selective rendering has been a hit or miss for me.

More images can be found here

Mapbox Satellite for Machine Learning

Posted by pratikyadav on 18 May 2018 in English (English)

All Mapbox users, using an access token from their own account, are allowed to create derivatives from Mapbox Satellite for contribution to OpenStreetMap via manual or automated processes for free.


  • All extractions must be non-commerical or OSM-improving. Examples:
    • an academic researcher could use the imagery for a non-OSM use
    • a company or individual could use the imagery for adding to OSM
  • All use of this service is subject to the Mapbox TOS, with a link to our TOS.
  • If you have another purpose for your extractions, get in touch with us via
  • You’ll need to have a Mapbox account and to use a token from your Mapbox account for all your ML requests. This will help us interpret any traffic issues and communicate with you if they come up.
  • Safe rate limit for downloading satellite tiles is 100 request per second. If you want to exceed that rate, please reach out to .

Whether powered by machine learning or not, we’d love to hear about your imagery use cases. And as always, if you have any questions, please reach out to us!

Russian Orthodox Churches in Turkmenistan

Posted by apm-wa on 18 May 2018 in English (English)

I have geolocated and mapped all Russian Orthodox Churches cited on the website Some were already mapped, but not all. This has involved in a few cases driving to the cities in question, asking locals where the church is located, and driving to it to mark it. In other cases it has involved querying locals as to the location and having them point it out in Digital Globe imagery for me. That last one we found was the Church of the Apostle Thomas in Tejen, which someone had mistagged as a mosque. Many thanks to all who helped!

This week I traveled to Mary and collected a few thousand Mapillary images along the M37, which are in the process of being uploaded. I identified some more POIs plus have updated some obsolete street names. There are three major hotels in Mary (Mary, Margush, and Yrsgal), and all three are now well marked in OSM for the convenience of travelers. There is also a new supermarket, Belent, and it is marked now as well. That's not to mention the out-of-the-way Gas Station 19 on a rural road that we stumbled across!

Location: 37.383, 60.513


Posted by Peoples Biography on 18 May 2018 in English (English)


Project Tree City; Thrissur OSM Mapping Party - May 2018

Posted by manojkmohan on 17 May 2018 in English (English)

A Mapping effort in Thrissur District, the cultural capital of Kerala for Marking the Buildings, Roads, Trees, Ponds and other historic places in the city. The City is built around a 65-acre (26 ha) hillock called the Thekkinkadu Maidan which seats the Vadakkumnathan temple. Thekkinkadu means Teak Forest. Thekkinkadu Maidan was a dense forest in olden days. Maharaja of Cochin, Rama Varma Sakthan Thampuran cleared the place and maid the Thrissur City. It hosts the spectacular cultural festival Thrissur Pooram.

In City some greenery remains in some part and we need to survey and map the places and diversity. Because of these trees we have good birds actives and with Kole Birders community there is an efforts happening to document the avian and tree diversity of the heart of city. Hope Free Software Users Group Thrissur also join the efforts. combining all interested group we can map our city

Location: 10.524, 76.213

Maps Update: April 17 → May 13

Posted by Zverik on 16 May 2018 in English (English)

A new minor release of MAPS.ME is coming, and just now I've got the new data for it — with numbers on size and features difference with the old data. First, sizes:

  • Indonesia_Central.mwm: 107 up to 127 MB
  • Tanzania.mwm: 212 up to 225 MB
  • US_Indiana_North.mwm: 19 up to 25 MB

Basically the same as the last time, except Portugal was replaced by Indiana state. And there was some prominent activity in all of Peru.

  • Somebody has traced a few thousand highway=track around Buenos Aires.
  • In Patagonia, Argentina, ~300 hamlets (50%) were demoted to isolated_dwellings.
  • Austria_Carinthia: import of ~3000 address points, +50%.
  • Brazil_Bahia: somebody mapped ~7000 power towers, +73%.
  • Brazil_Rio Grande do Norte: from 5 salt ponds to 238.
  • Canada_British Columbia_Islands: from 14 natural=cape to 635.
  • Canada_Newfoundland_West: somebody almost doubled the number of mapped buildings: 487 → 806.
  • Chile_North: 81% of place=hamlets disappeared.
  • Congo-Kinshasa_Kivu: traced ~7000 segments of residential roads, +54%.
  • The same in Gabon: +6000 segments, +160%.
  • Ecuador_West: seems like many supermarkets were imported, 845→1923 (+128%).
  • France_Pays de la Loire_Sarthe: somebody likes tracing fences, 350→3350.
  • In French Alpes, especially in Ardeche, ~9000 intermittent streams were added.
  • In Iceland, somebody retagged ~100 footways to cycleways, and added lit=yes tag to ~700 highway segments.
  • India_Assam: +11500 buildings (+90%).
  • India_Uttar Pradesh: 65 → 247 toilets.
  • Indonesia: so many new roads mapped, most prominent +40k residential in Jawa Tengah and +32k tracks in central Indonesia.
  • Ireland_Leinster: +250 wheelchair=limited tags (+54%).
  • Japan_Chubu Region_Gifu: somebody had a great survey walk there, adding ~50 each shops, temples, information boards, graveyards, company offices etc.
  • Mauritania: from 7 to 87 castles.
  • Morocco: at least 12k new surface=* tags on roads.
  • Namibia: all highway=road and highway=living_street tags were replaced.
  • New Zealand: there's an ongoing address points import, at least ~87k new (+65%).
  • In Nothern Norway somebody imported (or mapped?) ~13k power towers.
  • In Peru, schools and kindergartens were imported: +30k / +186% and +24k / +262%.
  • In Poland, somebody is drawing area:highway=footway, at least 6k new objects.
  • Russia_Arkhangelsk Oblast_North: almost all landuse=garages were removed, 135→18.
  • Russia_Moscow: imported 2700 address points.
  • Russia_Smolensk Oblast: somebody has a good mapping night, adding, among other stuff, 870 barrier=fences.
  • Singapore: 158 → 84 landuse=military. Demilitarization or concealing?
  • In South Africa many rural features were mapped, including farmlands, tracks and especially 2750 waterway=ditch lines.
  • Spain_Catalonia_Provincia de Girona: 388 → 670 admin_level=4 boundaries.
  • Spain_Andalusia_Sevilla and Spain_Cantabria: ~4000 new building:part objects, somebody making everything 3D?
  • The same in Tanzania: +2000 building:part (+78%).
  • UK_England_Greater London: from 78 down to 4 castles.
  • UK_England_South West England_Bristol: deleted all but 99 riverbanks (-97%).
  • US_California_Sacramento_Stockton: imported ~70k buildings, +56%.
  • US_Colorado: removed 2/3 of address points, ~10k.
  • US_Indiana_North: imported 150k address points, +600%.
  • US_Texas: at least 16k new surface=* tags, doubling their count.
  • Vietnam: 73 → 343 jewelry shops.

This list has taken more than a hour to write — but I imagine it took a million human-hours to map all that. Great work!

OpenStreetCam sign detection code and training data open sourced

Posted by mvexel on 16 May 2018 in English (English)

Telenav created and hosts OpenStreetCam, as many of you know. OpenStreetCam now has well over 130 million images contributed in large part by OSM mappers (thanks!). We already integrate the images themselves with JOSM and iD.

About a year ago, we started an internal initiative to apply machine learning to detect important features such as signs that are captured in the images. While we haven’t rolled that out at scale yet, you can already see the results in some US metro areas such as Salt Lake City, Detroit and Dallas / Fort Worth, using the latest version of the OpenStreetCam JOSM plugin. The goal is to make mapping sign content much easier and quicker. You can, for example, filter speed detected speed limit signs to see only the ones where the way in OSM does not have this speed limit yet.

So far, the technology behind this has been internal to Telenav. This is changing today.

Starting today, you can see, download, and contribute to the source code that powers our sign detections from Github. In addition, we’re releasing a training set and a test set of 45000 images manually annotated by our map team with more than 55000 signs in 23 different classes such as: traffic signals, stop signs, speed limits and turn restrictions. You can use these data sets to run your own detection improvements. Perhaps you want to detect benches? Bus stops? Storefronts? Be our guest ☺️ We are happy to add your improvements to the OpenStreetCam platform if they are useful to OSM.

We are also running a competition to celebrate this open source release. If you think you have what it takes to improve our existing detections meaningfully, I encourage you to enter! The competition runs until August 17. There is a $10,000 prize for the winner!

Finally: we do not have any plans to automatically add any of this detected information to OSM. Any improvements will always be made manually by mappers through the existing JOSM plugin, iD integration (coming) and MapRoulette.

If you're interested, there was also an official press release announcing this.

Tour Aotearoa

Posted by alspace on 16 May 2018 in English (English)

Relation: Tour Aotearoa (from gpx files) its time this was drawn completely, fine points like food shelter and drink, state of road / track - can all come later

Hauraki Rail Trail Relation="Hauraki Rail Trail" network=ncn

4 sections, 3 are part of TA. Pukorokoro Miranda to Kopu Trail - plotted from gpx overlay, still need to re-ride and check the plot is accurate, add gates, parking, ...


Just Mapping

Posted by Valerie143 on 14 May 2018 in English (English)

It's been a while i mapped. I'm glad the network is better now. Currently working on #4525 - 2018 Ebola #8, Mbandaka (E Av. Revolution), DRC

... and so it begins

Posted by Thomas_Hervey on 14 May 2018 in English (English)

Week 1

Today is the first programming day for GSoC 2018. If you haven't read about the student projects, go take a look! For this week, I will be firming my understanding of the iD services implementations (paying particular attention to mapillary and openstreetcam). Notes will end up being a toggleable service much like these two. Thus far, I've already experimented with many parameterized curl calls to the Notes API, and have delved deep into D3 (since iD relies heavily on it). This week, I am also going to explore how JOSM handles notes (to see if it is different from

If you're curious about other improvements to notes, please share your ideas here and take a look at an ongoing discussion about categorizing notes.

Below you can see iD currently without notes and with notes enabled. I'll be using my home campus, UCSB, as a test area for this work. So if you check the area out, you may see a lot of notes popping up! UCSB no notes UCSB notes


When OpenStreetMap met Mapbox-GL : 🍚IDLY-GL

Posted by kepta on 14 May 2018 in English (English)

Today I am super excited to announce Idly-Gl! It is an opensource Mapbox GL plugin which renders OpenStreetMap data.


What is Idly-Gl?

Idly-Gl is a small plugin which reads data from Openstreetmap's API and renders it on any Mapbox GL map. Click here for a demo.

What is IDLY 🍚?

Idly is an Indian rice cake 🍚. I picked this name as it can be the little brother of iD editor.

Why did you create it?

I work with a lot of Mapbox-gl maps and I am very impressed with their speed and portability. I have also worked with iD editor and it has impressed me with the way it handles OSM data. The only problem is that these two don't talk to each other well. To bridge the gap, we would have a button to open it in iD. This works well when you have to make an edit, but if a user just wants to inspect/visualize OSM data the only option is to open the OSM website.

What does it do?

  • 😎 It renders live osm data on a mapbox-gl map, which makes it blazingly fast.


  • 👯‍♀️ It tries to mimic iD editor's familiar styling.


  • 🕵 Dig deep into OSM entities, by interacting with them.


  • 💪 Add to any existing Mapbox-gl map to give it OSM superpowers.


What is next?

  • Idly-gl already does an impressive 3d buildings. I plan on adding some advanced 3d visualization of OSM data, provided Mapbox-gl supports it.
  • The Openstreetmap 's entity inspector provides a nice way to inspect an entity. I imagine Idly-gl doing the same thing. There are certain features like viewing the history or the changeset which are not yet there in Idly-gl, but I have plans to add them.
  • If all goes fine, I think being able to search would be great. I imagine putting a query like highway=* and Idly-gl only shows all the highways on the map.
  • I also wanna try to add some sort of linting into Idly-gl. There are already some great rules at osmlint, which I feel can be used to highlight entities which violate any selected linting rule.
  • Currently it just visualizes Turn restrictions. I plan on adding more Restriction visualization, but the tricky part is how to best visualize restrictions without the map being too cluttered.

What is the goal Idly-gl?

The goal of Idly-gl is to be a highly customizable developer tool which helps the developers add powerful OSM data inspection/visualization into their apps.

How do I add it to my website?

I am glad that you want to give it a try, head over to the Github repository Idly-gl!

Where can I play with it?

Idly-gl Demo

(Tip: If you want to see the 3d buildings, make sure you switch on 3d extrusion layer)

Final thoughts

Idly-gl is currently very new and I am super excited to talk about it. I would really appreciate if you could try it out and give me feedback or ideas on how to further improve this tool and help OSM community build amazing things on top of it.

Vespucci 11.0 BETA

Posted by SimonPoole on 14 May 2018 in English (English)

Work has proceeded nicely on the next major release of Vespucci and while there are still some rough edges and not quite everything has been added that I intended to, it definitely makes sense to test this version. THe beta APK is available from googles play store and our github repository.

Layer control

The most obvious visual difference in version 11 is the layer control on the main map view.

Currently it is not possible to change the ordering or add more than one layer of a specific type, supported functionality:

  • Hide/Show button turns drawing of the layer off/on. Hiding a layer doesn't free any resources associated with the layer.
  • Zoom to extent. Zooms and pans the screen so that the whole extent of the layer is displayed, if the extent cannot be determined this will zoom out to the full web-mercator coverage. Note: on the data layer this may not be particularly useful if you have downloaded areas that are far apart.
  • Menu button.
    • Tile based layers:
      • Select imagery. Same contents as on the prefernce screen, if multiple layers have been used, a most-recently-used list will be displayed above this menu entry, allowing quick layer switching. Selecting the "None" entry from the list will disable the layer, and requires re-enabling it via the "+" button on the layer dialog.
      • Flush tile cache. Moved here from main menu.
      • Background properties. Set contrast of layer, moved here from main menu.
    • GeoJSON layer.
      • Change style. Show the layer styling dialog.
      • Discard. Delete the layer including any saved state.
    • GPX layer. The GPX layer is currently mainly controlled via the entries in the GPS menu.
      • Change style. Show the layer styling dialog.
    • Photo, Grid and Task layers.
      • Disable. Turn this layer off, needs to be re-anbled via proferences. For the tasks and photo layers this will free resources if the app is exited and re-started.
  • "+" button:
    • Load GeoJSON layer. Loads a GeoJSON layer from a file, any existing one will be replaced.
    • Map background. Shown if the background layer has been disabled, allows the same selection as from the preferences screen.
    • Map overlay. Shown if the overlay layer has been disabled, allows the same selection as from the preferences screen.

Support for GeoJSON layers

A single (currently) GeoJSON based layer can be displayed on the map, individual elements are selectable. On loading the GeoJSON data from a file colour, stroke width and a tag for displaying a label can be selected.

A typical use case would be to verify third party data in GeoJSON format on the ground and similar mapping activities.

Re-arranged Preferences

The two preferences screens have been re-arranged with just the most important settings on the first screen and the "Advanced preference" screen split up in to multiple sub-screens.

The Authors and Licence screen has been move to the main menu, just as the Debug screen has.

Undo/redo of individual checkpoints

Previously selecting an undo or redo checkpoint from the undo menu (long press on the undo icon), always undid/redid all checkpoints back to that point in time. In Vespucci 11 a dialog is shown that allows you to select the previous behaviour or to undo/redo just the single selected checkpoint.

While selecting just one checkpoint will result in consistent data, it may have unintended consequences as all elements changed in the checkpoint will be reinstated to the stored state when the checkpoint was created, except if elements are referenced, for example way nodes or relation members, that have been deleted in later edits. References to deleted objects will not be re-created, including relation memberships in later deleted relations.

Example: as the first operation you split a way, as the second step you delete one of the two halves of the way. Undoing the first operation will only add way nodes back that were not removed in the second step.

Simple tag changes in a checkpoint can in general be undone without negative consequences.

Review changes before upload

Entries on the list of the created, changed and deleted elements can now be selected and the actual changes inspected. Elements that have failed the validator tests will have a red icon displayed.

Auto-Presets from taginfo

The results in the preset search are now complemented by results from querying Jochen Tops taginfo service, currently this requires network connectivity to work and will only return results for tags that have at least one wiki page. In general so generated presets should not be taken as gospel and the tagging will typically need some manual work.

Selected search results from taginfo are added to a special preset file that is stored on device in the public Vespucci directory, this can be used as a starting point for creating a proper preset for the object in question.

This feature can be turned off in the Advanced preferences "Data and Editing settings".


  • Support for icons in preset combos and multi-selects.
  • The info display for selected elements will now show the original state of the element side by side with the current state if the element has been modified.

The full change log is available here

Known problems

Upgrading from previous versions

Mapping of services for persons with disabilities

Posted by stefan_lorenzkowski on 13 May 2018 in English (English)

#What am I writing about I support on of our projects in a mapping exercise that looks at access to services important for persons with disabilties in Rwanda. For now we have a bulk of information on 256 services, notably looking at the aspects: *Adresses of the services (inc. GPS) *General description of teh service *Target group *Accessibility levels *Levels of inclusion

I would appreciate, if you could have a read through the article Geography and Inclusion

Location: 52.485, 13.423

New Wiki Page on Ashgabat

Posted by apm-wa on 13 May 2018 in English (English)

I've started a new wiki page on the city of Ashgabat. Suggestions on what more to include are solicited and welcome.

Location: 37.934, 58.393

The Hand-Cut Pass Through Solid Rock in Turkmenbashy, Turkmenistan

Posted by apm-wa on 12 May 2018 in English (English)

Do a virtual drive via these Mapillary images I took last week of the pass cut by hand by Japanese prisoners of war after World War II. The pass was carved out of solid rock using hand tools.

There is a small memorial to Japanese POWs at the top of the hill.

So far about 5,000 of the over 30,000 images I collected on this trip have been uploaded. I copied them from my smartphone to my desktop computer and am using the desktop interface with to upload them. Due to the slow internet speeds of the Turkmen internet, it will be a while before all images are uploaded.

Location: 40.041, 52.972

OSM Needs Gateopeners too

Posted by bgirardot on 11 May 2018 in English (English)

Zverik's diary post contained the word "Gatekeeprs" and I have also used that term, as well as "self appointed Sheriff's of OSM" and "grumpy people" :)

OSM contributor Dzertanoj made the comment that "Gatekeeper" was a very negative term in Russian, that it even implied "dumb". In American English it is a negative term, but mildly so. In fact, to most folks it even implies the longest contributing, most experienced folks in an open source project.

Gatekeeping is a critical role to a large open project like OSM.

The problem is, that over time, years of experience supporting and contributing to the project, the gatekeepers are in the best place to see what is needed to keep the project at a very high level of quality, which OSM is at, a very high level of quality, infrastructure, data, code base, ecosystem, etc, it is in large part due to the gatekeepers.

But I think what happens is that after several years, over 10+ years in some cases, of seeing all sorts of folks and ideas and efforts come to the "commons" that is an open source project, the gatekeepers get a little focused on keeping the gate closed. They have cleaned up after this, heard this, seen this, tried this, whatever it may be and they know all the parts that cause issues on the commons. So they rightly keep the gate closed or try to.

What is needed, what I have personally tried to do, and what HOT (disclosure: I am a HOT member and past board member) tries to do is be "Gateopeners"

We know the rules as the community and gatekeepers in particular have created, they are things like the import guidelines and draft of the directed edition policy are two great examples.

We open the gate and say "Welcome, glad you are here. Sure you can do that, let us show you around the place a bit. Here are the guidelines for doing X, we can go over them with you, help you with them, show you where the wiki templates are, but you have to just follow them. You will get great feedback from the community on issues and they are very helpful with suggestions. Your project to do X will go much better following their advice. They have also done this many times and may have examples of how they did it in the past they will share with you."

But it takes time and folks to do that and unfortunately gatekeepers are usually also doing another job or two around OSM, like making significant contributions and/or running a business around OSM.

So we need gatekeepers, but we need gateopeners too. Gateopeners just want to work with and along side the gatekeepers. Let us help you by fulfilling that role so you can keep to other important matters.

I should also note what I hope is obvious: There are gatekeepers and gateopeners in other areas besides tech. They exist for fundraising and diversity as well and I am sure other areas that I am not thinking of at the moment.

I have seen great examples of gateopening over the past few years across all of these areas and I hope to have been an effective one myself. Thank you for performing an equally critical and often unrecognized role.

This whole post is meant in the most genuine appreciation for gatekeepers, self appointed Sheriffs, and grumpy experienced folks who have helped make OSM the success it is now and the success it will enjoy in the future. I won't "name names" but I hope you know who you are and know that your contributions and role in OSM mean the world to folks. I look forward to working with you all more in the future!

As Heather Leson likes to say: "Let's go be awesome together."

Respectfully, blake

Location: 42.288, -83.740

OpenStreetMap Carto release v4.11.0

Posted by kocio on 11 May 2018 in English (English)

Dear all,

Today, v4.11.0 of the OpenStreetMap Carto stylesheet (the default stylesheet on the OSM website) has been released. Once changes are deployed on the it will take couple of days before all tiles show the new rendering.

Changes include

  • Fixed office/amenity conflict
  • Brightened built-up areas on z12
  • Refurbished natural=spring icon
  • Added rendering for amenity=police and amenity=fire_station areas
  • Added rendering of amenity=nursing_home
  • Added rendering of amenity=childcare
  • Added rendering of amenity=driving_school
  • Added area rendering for amenity=bus_station
  • Added area rendering of amenity=taxi
  • Made highway=traffic_signals icon less obtrusive
  • Moved barriers to higher zoom level
  • Hiding railway=platform with location=underground, tunnels and covered=yes
  • Small documentation and code fixes

Thanks to all the contributors for this release.

For a full list of commits, see

As always, we welcome any bug reports at

OSM & Britain’s Most Upwardly-Mobile Village

Posted by alexkemp on 11 May 2018 in English (English)

You may have missed the reports in April about Willand, a pretty little village in Devon that is 2cm (0.7 inches) closer to god each year (from the heliocentric view, of course), yet no-one knows why:

Willand village in Devon

The connection to OSM is a little tortuous, but real.

The University of Nottingham has a Geography department, and it has spun off a commercial company called Geomatic Ventures Limited (GML). GML has created a United Kingdom Relative Deformation Map using the Sentinel-1 satellite. Here is the blurb from the mangomap site:

United Kingdom Relative Deformation Map

A relative deformation map of the United Kingdom, generated from ~ 2000 Sentinel-1 images acquired between October 2015 - October 2017. The data was processed using the Intermittent Small Baseline Subset (ISBAS) InSAR method. Each pixel represents the average vertical height change over the period of observations in millimetres per year.

There is an extensive history of coal-mining in Britain, almost all of which is now defunct (the seam that the Gedling Pit in Nottinghamshire was following just before closure runs under Nottingham itself; in fact, the street just round the corner from me is the very street above where they stopped underground). Most of those mines were continuously pumped to keep them free of water, and that stopped at closure. There are thus both blue areas on the GVL mangomap (rising ground) due to re-flooding and red areas (falling ground) due to collapsing seams within those former mining areas.

The point of Willand is:

  1. It has the fastest rise in Britain
  2. No-one has a clue as to why!

What has OSM got to do with this?

There is a flyout within the map that allows you to add a Base Map to the Deformation Map, and the first two choices are both OSM. Very nice.

Location: 50.891, -3.373

Census project on place names dedicated to king Vittorio Emanuele III in Campania (Southern Italy).

Posted by bubix on 11 May 2018 in English (English)

As part of the #cittasenzamemoria project, the verification of toponyms dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele III in Campania was updated.


The data comes from the map of OpenStreetMap aimed at creating a free content cartography of the world. The map information is freely accessible under license ODbL and updated every day. To facilitate the consultation, the toponyms are also available on the dedicated online map. A total of 50 names were identified below:

id name City

1 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Aversa
2 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III Aversa
3 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III Castel Volturno
4 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III Cervino
5 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Benevento
6 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Castelvetere in Val Fortore
7 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Fragneto l'Abate
8 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III Montefalcone in Valfortore
9 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Pontelandolfo
10 Viale Vittorio Emanuele III Sant'Agata de' Goti
11 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Afragola
12 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Arzano
13 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Calvizzano
14 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Camposano
15 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Casalnuovo di Napoli
16 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Frattamaggiore
17 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Marigliano
18 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Napoli
19 Via Vittorio Emanuele III a Miano Napoli
20 Via Vittorio Emanuele III a Secondigliano Napoli
21 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Poggiomarino
22 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Pompei
23 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III Somma Vesuviana
24 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Torre Annunziata
25 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III Tufino
26 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Capri
27 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Lettere
28 Viale Vittorio Emanuele III Bisaccia
29 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Casalbore
30 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III Cassano Irpino
31 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Lacedonia
32 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III Lioni
33 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Pietradefusi
34 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Quadrelle
35 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Villanova del Battista
36 Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III Napoli
37 Rione Vittorio Emanuele III Napoli
38 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Aquara
39 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Campagna
40 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III Cava de' Tirreni
41 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Mercato San Severino
42 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Montecorvino Rovella
43 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Montesano sulla Marcellana
44 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III Morigerati
45 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Morigerati
46 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Padula
47 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Piaggine
48 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Sala Consilina
49 Via Vittorio Emanuele III Stella Cilento
50 Corso Vittorio Emanuele III Valle dell'Angelo

In detail, individual odonyms are also viewable on the wiki page of the project #cittasenzamemoria related to Campania.

  • Work method

The working method consisted in verifying the data coming from ISTAT 2011 Census. If the route is present in the ISTAT database through ancillary sources, it has been determined that the plates are actually registered to Vittorio Emanuele III and does not have its two homonymous predecessors (Vittorio Emaneuele I and II). If the check is positive, the presence of the road on OpenStreetMap has been checked. The result produced was that almost all the 50 mames checked were mostly already present and therefore verified by the local community of OpenStreetmap users. The strong presence of anthroponyms dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele III in Campania is due to the fact that in the constitutional referendum of 2 June 1946 with 78.9% in Naples, 72.9% in Salerno and 69.9% in Benevento, the opponents won the elections to introduction of the Republic.

  • Final considerations

The work carried out on Campania shows that the map of OpenStreetMap can be considered a valid database reliable and certified by the same community of voluntary mappers that with their painstaking work, verify, check and update the data on the maps.